A side view of the new Holy Trinity chapel at the south end of the cathedral.
A bird's-eye view of Holy Trinity Cathedral from the south. Note the applied mosaic artwork of the new chapel's canopy roof.
Holy Trinity's new chapel will stand at the south end of the cathedral, beneath the rose window that looks south towards One Tree Hill.
The winning design for a dramatic new chapel for Auckland’s Holy Trinity Cathedral has been revealed.
All going well the new chapel, which is to be built at the Newmarket end of the cathedral, will be finished by Christmas Day 2014 – in time to mark the bicentenary of the arrival of the Christian message in this country.
The chapel, which will feature a canopy roof with applied mosaic artwork, and glass walls on four sides, is the brainchild of leading Auckland architects Fearon Hay.
Dean Jo Kelly-Moore has hailed their design, saying the new chapel will be “this generation’s contribution to the cathedral.”
Fearon Hay's scheme emerged from a design competition run through the New Zealand Institute of Architects. The judging panel selected it from a shortlist of designs submitted by four of the country’s best architects: Architectus, Athfield Architects, RTA Studio and Pete Bossley (in collaboration) and Fearon Hay.
The new chapel is, in fact, just one part of a $10 million cathedral project, triggered by the need to do major work on the cathedral organ.
That organ, which is played for public worship and performance more than 350 times a year, has long been scheduled for refurbishment and expansion.
In the process of scoping out their task, the organ builders advised that any work on the building itself should be done while the organ is being rebuilt and before it is re-installed.
That's because experience has taught that structural work on the buildings in which organs are housed often damages the organs.
So: because Holy Trinity Cathedral has never been completed – the south end is clad in corrugated iron, awaiting the chapel – it made sense to do everything in one hit.
To add the final touch, the new chapel, and to link the cathedral to the adjacent St Mary’s, while the organ is under reconstruction.
Fundraising for the whole project will continue this year, construction of the chapel will begin next year – and, if fundraising targets are met, Dean Jo says the whole project will be completed by Christmas Day 2014, to mark the bicentenary of Christianity in Aotearoa New Zealand.
The chair of the chapel design competition judging panel was David Sheppard, the Christchurch-based President-elect of the New Zealand Institute of Architects.
He says the “inherent simplicity and economy of means” of the winning design “ promises to become a perfect complement to the great works of St Mary’s, Architect Charles Towle’s Chancel, Dr Richard Toy’s Nave and forecourt, and Jacky Bowring’s memorial gardens.”
Dean Jo says the cathedral community is “very excited by the vision and possibilities of Fearon Hay’s design.
“Each week literally thousands of people come to the Cathedral precinct, whether for a few quiet moments or as part of a large gathering.”
She says the main purpose of the new chapel is to “enable the Cathedral to better serve the people of Auckland and New Zealand... Fearon Hay understood and interpreted that purpose.”
Dean Jo says the great Cathedrals of Europe show that “these mighty buildings take generations to build.
The new chapel, she says, will be “this generation’s contribution to the Cathedral.”
All the competition designs were put on show and the judging panel took into account public feedback on those designs.
The panel comprised David Sheppard, the president-elect of the NZIA; Dean Jo Kelly-Moore; the Archdeacon of Auckland, The Ven Carole Hughes; and the Chair of the Cathedral Resources Board, David Grove.
A brief history of the Holy Trinity Cathedral site
• 1843 Bishop Selwyn bought the land for a Cathedral for Auckland. He described it as “a noble site”.
• 1935 publishing heiress Mina Horton bequeathed funds to build a Cathedral.
• 1959 work started on the liturgical East end (geographic South end) designed by local architect Charles Towle .
• 1973 stage 1, the sanctuary, now referred to as “the gothic section”, was first used. Until then St Mary’s Church, across Parnell Road, had acted as pro Cathedral.
•1982 St Mary’s was moved across Parnell Rd to the Cathedral, as St Mary’s in Holy Trinity, similar to St Margaret’s in Westminster.
• 1992 the nave, designed by Professor Richard Toy was added.
• The Cathedral is oriented so that great windows, intended for the south, look out the 5km to the volcanic cone of One Tree Hill, framed by Mt St John and Mt Hobson.
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